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The sidekicks of the D.C. universe continue their excellent tour of duty on the Cartoon Network in “Young Justice”, a surprisingly well-done animated show that continues to improve with each new episode in its first season. Don’t let the title or the fact that the show focuses on the sidekicks of the D.C. Universe fool you; “Young Justice” is quickly becoming nearly as good as “Justice League” or the various incarnations of the “Batman” TV-verse. Season 1, Volume 3 of the show now lands on DVD with four episodes courtesy of Warner Home Video.
Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis have become YOUNG JUSTICE – The Justice League’s secret weapon against the forces of evil. The teen heroes will take on under-the-radar missions that would be impossible for the Justice League to handle covertly. Red Tornado will be their supervisor; Black Canary will be in charge of their training and Batman will hand out their assignments.
The Season 1, Volume 3 disc holds four episodes from the show, including “Bereft”, “Targets”, “Terrors”, and “Home Front”. There are no bells and whistles to be found, which is in keeping with the previous two releases for the show. Fortunately the artwork, writing, and action in the episodes themselves are still excellent, and that’s always been the main selling point of “Young Justice” anyway. I suspect that, eventually, Warner will release the entire season in one package (possibly Blu-ray?), hopefully with some bonus extras for fans of the show. One can only hope, right? Until then…
Amnesia strikes in “Bereft”, which finds the gang literally and figuratively lost in the desert of a foreign country, with no memory of how they got there or the true nature of their mission. It’s up to Miss Martian to the rescue, but can she defeat the menace of … Psimon! She’s gonna need some help, of course, including some emotional assistance from, of all people, Superboy. The episode features Alan Tudyk (of “Firefly” fame) as the villain Psimon, and would seem to be hinting at possible romance for Artemis and Kid Flash (here showing off a snazzy new costume). Mostly a filler episode, but then again, I was never the biggest fan of Miss Martian.
“Targets” features the return of Green Arrow’s former sidekick, Red Arrow, who is in a foreign country somewhere trying to keep global peace from being ruined by a pair of dastardly villains. Lex Luthor soon enters the scene, but for a most unexpected reason. Despite being a heavily Red Arrow-centric episode, “Targets” does take some time off for a side plot that has Superboy and Miss Martian enrolling in, yes, high school. Shenanigans, as you might expect, ensue. There are some excellent arrow-and-bow action in “Targets”, and fans of the former Speedy should get their money’s worth. For fans of the team, though, the side plot at the high school will probably be the main draw. You think the League of Shadows is dangerous? Try high school, buddy!
The final two episodes on the Volume 3 disc are “Terrors” and “Home Front”. The first sends Superboy and Miss Martian undercover at a supervillain prison run by the always very pleasant Amanda Waller, while the last episode features an invasion of the Cave, leaving Robin and Artemis to defend their turf at all costs. “Terrors” is a delightful episode that features a slew of D.C. Universe villains behind bars, including The Riddler, Hugo Strange and all those bad guys with ice/cold/freezing for powers. (This is D.C., after all; this is the type of, well, “cartoony” villains they come up with.) An overall well done episode that continues the Miss Martian/Superboy relationship for all you shippers out there.
“Home Front” is probably the episode you’ve been waiting for if you love Robin. Though Artemis gets plenty of screentime (and we learn more about her background), it’s really Robin who shines here, as the two powerless members of the group are forced to save the day when their far more powerful (as in, the ones with actual powers) are taken down by the episode’s villains. Artemis goes through some rather odd phases during the episode, but Robin is cool and calm; you wouldn’t expect anything less from someone trained by the very cool and calm Batman. An all-around great episode, and reminds me why Robin is still, bar none, my favorite character on this show. Also, keep an eye out for a Batgirl sighting (though sadly, not in costume).